When Thorsten Heins was interviewed on the radio by CBC's Matt Galloway, one of the key questions asked of him was, "Why was BlackBerry 10 delayed". What he actually said may surprise you.
You can go listen to Thorsten's answer for yourself here. There is an embedded audio player on the left side of the article, and Thorsten's answer happens at the 5:30 mark.
I transcribed the following portion of Thorsten's answer:
We wanted to make one thing really really clear Matt. And this is this product has to be of the highest quality so there is no compromise on quality. Could we have rushed it out? Probably yes. But the point is, it's a new platform for the next 10 years. We want it to be stable. We want it to be reliable. We want it to be of high quality. And in light of this, I think a delay of two months is disappointing, and the whole team is disappointed, but they will continue working hard and get it out in the first quarter and we'll get it right.
Only two months? Let's look at what was previously announced by RIM. Immediately prior to this delay, they said it would launch late in 2012. People were hoping this meant October, but it could have meant December. Now, RIM is saying Q1 2013. This could mean January or it could mean March.
We have to assume RIM knows more about its own timelines than we do (logical). And two months of additional delay IS a mathematical possibility given what they'd said before. But I never noticed, until today, that Thorsten actually said these words out loud, in public, on a radio interview.
Yesterday I wrote what some people considered to be harsh criticism of RIM's communication skills on the Q1 conference call and the recent media blitz across Canada. I stand by what I said. Their communication needs to be more polished.
But I also said that their message doesn't really affect the quality of the product they will launch. The sales pitch is not the same as the product. I don't like the sales pitch, but I care more about the product.
I think the general media, tech sites, and even enthusiast sites like CrackBerry, have been assuming that the announced delay was more like 5-6 months. Hence the massive criticism and crowds of people proclaiming RIM's certain death.
So I'll wrap this up with two questions.
First - if the delay is truly only two months does it change anything? Does it make you feel more comfortable?
Second - do you believe Thorsten? There is no denying that RIM has missed launch dates with an almost perfect track record lately. But every promised date, in the past, was promised under the leadership of Jim & Mike. Thorsten is now responsible for taking ownership of his own promises. Unless I'm mistaken, this is his first promise about a product delivery date.
Sound off in the comments.